Local Authors Publish Book On Rodeo History

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Rodeo 101, History of the Payson, Arizona Rodeo," by Jinx Pyle and Jayne Peace, will be for sale this coming August. It will be available in both hardcover and soft cover. The soft-cover book will sell for $25. The hardcover book, which will be a numbered, collector's edition, will sell for $100. It will be wrapped in a full-color dust jacket.

"Pre-sales have started on the special collector's edition," said Peace. "Only 500 will be printed and each will be numbered, so the value of the book will go up as soon as the 500 copies are sold. It is really a good investment for collectors or for people who want a hard-bound copy of the history of the Payson Rodeo. It will last longer than the soft-cover book and it really looks nice."

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Jinx Pyle and Jayne Peace have just published the history of the Payson Rodeo through their company, Git a Rope! Publishing. Copies of a hardback commemorative edition can be ordered now. The regular edition is available softbound.

"Rodeo 101" covers the history of the Payson Rodeo from 1884 to 1984, which is 101 years, thus the title.

The book contains 375 photos and eight illustrations, the early history of Payson, and numerous short articles on cowboys, cowgirls and horse races.

"This book is a detailed history of the world's oldest continuous rodeo," said Peace. "It contains information and photographs that have never before been published.

"I started interviewing old-timers and collecting photos and other information in the 1960s. I wanted to record the history of the Payson Rodeo as accurately as possible.

"About 1972, Prescott began claiming that they had the ‘World's Oldest Rodeo,' and that's when I knew this history had to be written."

Peace said she interviewed George Cline and several other people in 1972, trying to get a grip on the facts. She kept gathering information and photographs and planned to have the Payson Rodeo history ready for 1984.

"I wanted to have the book completed in 1984, the year Payson celebrated its centennial rodeo, but I was too busy making a living to get it finished," Peace said.

"After the centennial year past, I didn't work on the book as diligently, but word about the book was out and cowboys kept sending me photographs."

Jayne Peace and Jinx Pyle formed Git A Rope! Publishing, Inc. in 2002 so they could publish their books in their own style, and they have published for others. After they published a book for the Daughters of the Gila County Pioneers, three books for Jinx, "Looking Through the Smoke," "Blue Fox," and "Mountain Cowboys," a book for Jayne, "History of Gisela, Arizona," and books for several other authors, they turned their focus to the history of the Payson Rodeo.

The couple also married in January.

"I have to hand it to Jinx," said Peace. "When he started writing on the history of the Payson Rodeo, he just wouldn't quit. He was determined to get it out by this August.

"He used my research, plus being five years older, he could remember more than I could about the rodeos. He could remember the horse races and the names of the horses.

"We interviewed many more people and got a lot more detailed information. Because of Jinx, we have a much better book. Together, we put together a good history.

"Since both of us are from pioneering Gila County ranch families, we had the knowledge or we knew where to go to get it.

"We owe much to Anna Mae Deming, Pat and Raymond Cline, Marguerite Noble, Ronnie McDaniel, Edward Childers, Roger Buchanan, and more."

The introduction to the book was written by Ronnie McDaniel, local cowboy and Payson's Justice of the Peace. Arizona State Historian, Marshall Trimble, wrote the foreword. Wink Burgess of Redmond, Ore., and Sue Malinski of Payson, contributed illustrations that enhance the book.

"Many people have contributed to this book," said Peace. "We are very thankful to them."

The cover photo is by Roger Buchanan, and the book cover is designed by Boni Huddleston. Both live in Payson.

Peace and Pyle have probably ruffled the feathers of some Prescott historians who claim that Prescott has the "world's oldest rodeo."

"Prescott claims its first rodeo was held in 1888," said Peace. "We don't argue with that. But Payson's first rodeo was in 1884 -- that's four years earlier -- and Payson hasn't missed a rodeo since.

"People can decide for themselves which one is older."

If you want to purchase a copy of the special collector's edition, call Jayne Peace or Jinx Pyle at (928) 474-0380, or write to Git A Rope! Publishing, Inc., 418 W. Frontier St., Payson, AZ 85541.

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